To whom it may concern:
I am writing this to let you know that I will be working to recover from codependency over the next 6 months. Not only am I fully aware that I am a codependent; I also have an understanding of why I am a codependent which is equally valuable to my recovery. I will do this by beginning my focus on two areas and once I feel more confident in these areas I will choose two new areas to focus on:
First, I will, from now on, assume a non-rescuing approach to people. I have always rescued my entire life (even as a child) and considered it an admirable personality trait. It has taken its toll on me over the years and has probably annoyed many a person! I often felt stressed, exhausted and emotionally drained as I tried to “fix” everyone and at the same time live my life (which ended up taking a backseat most of the time). Now I understand that the motivation for this behavior is not necessarily about helping the other person—it’s about making me feel better about myself by feeling in control and distracting myself from focusing on my own needs and wants which were often going unfulfilled or unacknowledged by those around me. I also have realized that this propensity for rescuing has come from my chaotic upbringing.
I have done some research to help me distinguish between rescuing and supporting. It’s confusing but I have discovered that they are vastly different! Rescuing is doing things for a person… so they can escape consequences, play the victim and continue leaning on others. Supporting is providing encouragement, positive feedback, and resources/ information so that the person can make their own decisions, solve their own problems. It is not leading someone to do what you think they should do… it is rather allowing the person to make educated decisions about their life. Supporting does not involve emotional entanglement (Oh My GOD… I have to fix this.. its all on me.) and often is given after a person requests input. Giving support rather than rescuing puts you on an equal playing field with the other person. The other person will not feel inferior but will instead feel enlightened and more enabled to solve their own issues. The ultimate goal is for the person to feel strong enough to solve their own issues, not just to have them do what you told them to. By supporting rather than rescuing, I am actually helping the person to grow, become stronger and more confident! This will allow me to step back and focus on my own life. True help/support comes from the heart and does not involve feeling resentment, anger or regret.
Second, as of today… I will focus more on how I am feeling. I will NOT suppress – instead I will express my feelings. I need to understand and acknowledge what I am feeling and why I am feeling it so I can resolve my own issues and fulfill my own needs in a healthy way. No more bottling up my feelings. It is so very toxic and tons of research shows it leads to anxiety and depression and I have suffered from both.
I am ready for some challenges concerning this journey to codependency recovery but the information I have learned through exploring our book has already prompted a new awareness and focus on this part of who I am. It has also opened my mind to ways I can change this to interact with and help others in a healthy way without sacrificing my own precious peace of mind.
I intend to write another letter at the end of 6 months and review my progress and what new areas I will focus on at that time.
Anonymous I&A Client